Commodification of art is nothing new (we especially like those Hello Kitty vibrators), but a respectable art gallery slumming in a mall is right up there with Walmarts on sacred burial grounds, even if its exactly the kind of "social embeddedness" that Joe Baker, ASU's Director of Community Engagement, has been pushing for.
So, right around the corner from Barnes & Noble, ASU's Herberger College of the Arts recently opened the large, glass doors of its 3,800-square-foot Night Gallery in a vacant retail space at . . . wait for it . . . Tempe Marketplace. The gallery hosts rotating shows by ASU art students and faculty.
Baker tells New Times, "This access allows us to be organic and responsive to opportunities that can help us continue to connect with the community. The Night Gallery brings together Herberger College artists, faculty, and alumni with community members in a social space that is a portal for expanding arts awareness -- thus creating cultural exchange."
Translation: Malls are, like, really cool and stuff, and everybody goes there, so, like, maybe a bunch of people will come check out our art.